Living in Whitstable, Kent
Written by Anonymous Visitor and posted in Kent, South East, United Kingdom

Whitstable is one of the nicer towns in Kent. Which would be a compliment anywhere else: Kent as a whole being f*****g crap, Whitstable is merely crap.

It’d be a lovely place to go for a weekend. You could toddle down Harbour Street, look in all the boutiquey shops, eat fish and chips, have a pint and then go home to a place that actually has other things to do in it. Because in Whitstable, that is it. There is nothing else whatsoever. There’s nothing to do at night for anyone under 30 other than getting ratted on supermarket cider and throwing up on the beach, no permanent cinema – there isn’t even a McDonalds within the town itself. And getting a job? Forget it, unless you’re willing to wipe pensioners’ arses for a living.

Why? Because it’s being steadily converted into a Disneyland version of itself for middle-class 30-something Londoners and their annoying children. Harbour Street is a tiny bubble run by Londoners for Londoners – half the shops aren’t even open on weekdays – selling the sort of useless cutesy s**t that nobody who actually lives there needs or wants but evidently fills some sort of emotional need for twee ersatz overpriced cack that Londoners apparently require to prove to themselves they have actually been to the fantasy version of the seaside they possess. Seeing a load of wet stuff with fish in it seems to not be sufficient. The real British seaside town experience – perpetually paralysingly bored and half-pissed, trying to dodge seagulls shitting on you and blot out the crippling ennui of depression and unemployment with daytime TV and sniggering at the double-entendre product names in Iceland – presumably doesn’t cut it.

There’s something like 17 (no exaggeration: I counted them) art galleries in the town, in a town of 30,000-odd people, for all said Londoners to pay to exhibit their awful pictures in and everyone else to studiously ignore. There can’t be many towns on which half the local economy is based on the art equivalent of vanity publishing.

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So what’s it like outside that bourgeoisie fantasy? The same existential crisis-inducing airless, lifeless grey hell of bungalows, drizzle, squashed chips and sea the colour of untreated sewage that lines the rest of the Kent coast, and indeed much of the rest of England.

Live in it for five years and you become the sort of person who goes to B&Q for excitement and starts knitting out of cat hair. You forget what excitement and interest and joy are, until you leave the town and the constant grey malaise and ennui hanging over you produced by listlessly pawing through the rails of the Cancer Research shop for the 470th time momentarily shifts and you realise once again that there is happiness and light and purpose in the world out there, if only you could escape the black hole-like grip of east Kent.

I left a year ago and I’m never, ever going back.

  • Lester

    Would the author of this article care to enlighten us as to a costal town of a similar size to Whitstable that he thinks is better ? And why !?

  • Ellie

    I notice this website is titled iLiveHere….well you don’t live in Whitstable; you evidently didn’t live there long enough to to see the numbers of people coming in from all over the country, not just London, or experience the wide variety of jobs. My best friend worked in a souvenir and beach wear shop and I worked in a Pub Restaurant and we met people from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, all directions of England and then the international visitors from France, Jamaica, Spain and all sorts of other places! In all honesty, I think I’ve seen about 5 Londoners in Whitstable and two of them are a couple that live there because they love the sea views and fresh fish from the harbour market.

    In short, why don’t you naff off and write a load of bull rubbish about your own town!? Thanks.

  • Phil Harris

    The lack of a MacDonalds is a great recommendation for any small town.

  • Kevin

    Moved away from Whitstable because of high house prices but what I’ve seen when visiting lately not shure I’d want to move back anyway now.

  • sarah

    Whitstable is not the Whitstable of my childhood. It is definitely DFL orientated these days. What with the changes the council & Greens want to do to the harbour and surrounding area in the future does not bear thinking about. Where have the ‘Smack’ races gone? The working harbour will soon be no more if they get there way. Where is all the things that Whitstable was famous for? Ok change is inevitable, but make it change for the better & for the locals who live there.

  • Tammy Richardson

    Please Don’nt come back !!! I agree it may not be perfect , but it’s narrow minded biggotts like yourself who are not proud have not stayed to invest in time or money ( shopping locally) or making an effort to be part of the community….. Your new town/city/village can keep you !!!

    • Edd Brown

      Please Leave Tammy! You sound like the Stereo Typical DFL who has ruined

  • Francis Clare

    Why does anyone care what this person thinks? What does it matter?

  • kemalia

    Who writes this Shike ? I live in Whitstable and no in.not from London either And I certainly don’t have bratts . I think writer is peed of with someone and will probably defend themselves wich I exspect masking the real issue 😊

  • Anaximandrecles

    I’ll go there for the Ennui.

  • Colin

    Absolutely top notch rant about the lower investment class.